Ocular inflammation induced by electroconvulsive treatment: contribution of nitric oxide and neuropeptides mobilized from C-fibres

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1. Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) of rabbits produced ocular inflammation consisting of conjunctival hyperaemia, miosis and protein extravasation into the aqueous humour, reflected by the so-called aqueous flare response (AFR): the maximal reduction in pupil size was 3.8 +/- 0.1 mm (s.e. of mean, n = 16) while the maximal AFR was 28.1 +/- 2.8 (arbitrary units). 2. ECT also caused release of substance P (SP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP)-27, -38 and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The concentrations of SP and CGRP in the aqueous humour of normal, untreated eyes were 10.6 +/- 1.4 and 117.4 +/- 12.4 pmol l-1, respectively, while the concentrations of PACAP-27 and -38 were below the detection limit. After ECT the concentrations of SP, PACAP-27, -38 and CGRP were 65.0 +/- 9.6, 46.9 +/- 8.4, 50.2 +/- 5.4 and 1109.9 +/- 133.1 pmol l-1, respectively (s.e. of mean, n = 12). Conceivably, ECT evoked an antidromic activation of sensory neurones in the trigeminal ganglion with the consequent release of neuropeptides from C-fibres in the uvea and the development of neurogenic inflammation. 3. Rabbits received the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 200 mg kg 1, i.v.). This pretreatment inhibited the ECT-evoked conjunctival hyperaemia, miosis and AFR: under these circumstances the maximal reduction in pupil size was 1.9 +/- 0.1 mm while the maximal AFR was 2.7 +/- 0.9 (n = 16). L-NAME also inhibited the ECT-evoked release of SP, PACAP-27, -38 and CGRP into the aqueous humour; the concentrations of SP and CGRP were 13.2 +/- 1.5 and 204.8 +/- 33.5 pmol l-1, respectively, while PACAP-27 and -38 were below the detection limit (n = 12). 4. The ECT-evoked miosis was also inhibited by pretreatment with the tachykinin receptor antagonist D-Pal9 spantide 11 (90 nmol, intravitreal injection); under these circumstances the maximal reduction in pupil size was only 0.7 +/- 0.03 mm, indicating an important role for SP in the miotic response. Pretreatment of the eye with capsaicin, which is known to cause functional ablation of C-fibres, inhibited the conjunctival hyperaemia, miosis and AFR by 40-50%; the maximal reduction in pupil size being 2.2 +/- 0.2 mm and the maximal AFR 13.8 +/- 2.1 (arbitrary units) (n = 8). 5. The results suggest (1) that ECT evokes ocular inflammation through antidromic C-fibre activation; (2) that SP contributes to the ECT-evoked miosis; and (3) that NO contributes to the antidromic C-fibre activation and possibly to the vascular responses mediated by the C-fibre transmitters.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Lund University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Farmakologi och toxikologi


Sidor (från-till)1491-1496
TidskriftBritish Journal of Pharmacology
StatusPublished - 1997 apr
Peer review utfördJa